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Willmar rolls past Sartell; Tech on deck

SARTELL -- The Willmar Cardinals warmed up for a mid-season showdown against St. Cloud Tech this Tuesday by destroying Sartell 80-63 in a Central Lakes Conference boys basketball game Friday night.

The Tigers (9-0, 14-0), ranked No. 4 in Class AAAA by Minnesota Basketball News, invade the Cardinals' gym for the first of two meetings this winter.

Willmar is 8-1 in the Central Lakes Conference and 12-4 overall after going 2-1 this week.

"It will be an exciting game," said Willmar coach Steve Grove. "It's for first place. They're a great team. I see us as the underdog. Our boys are looking forward to the challenge."

Unlike most meetings in past seasons, the Cardinals had little trouble with the Sabres this time.

Sartell has struggled with only one starter back and this loss dropped them to 1-8 in the Central Lakes Conference and 2-13 overall.

Jordan Smith was Willmar's leading scorer with 19 points to go along with nine rebounds. Ryan Filipek and Taylor Filipek had 14 points each for the Cardinals. Ryan got all of his points in the first half, when his younger brother was on the bench with two fouls.

Brian Reeves tossed in 11 points, Isaiah Streed nine and Alec Saunders eight for Willmar, which led 38-27 at halftime. Saunders also dished out six assists.

Willmar shots 56 percent from the field, hitting 31-of-55 shots.

Kyle Mareck sank three 3s and led Sartell with 18 points.

Willmar 80, Sartell 63

Willmar (8-1, 12-4) 38 42 -- 80

Sartell (1-8, 2-13) 27 36 -- 63

WILLMAR - 31-55 FG (5-9 3-pt);14-19 FT; 31 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring:Ryan Filipek 14, Taylor Filipek 14, Jordan Smith 19, Isaiah Streed 9, Alec Saunders 8, Jim Neis 3, Brian Reeves 11, Logan Birkland 2 ... 3-point shots: T. Filipek 3, Smith 1, Neis 1 ... Rebound leaders: Smith 9 ... Assist leaders: Saunders 6 ... Steal leaders: Smith 2, T. Filipek 2

SARTELL - 22-43 FG (8-19 3-pt); 11-16 FT; 23 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Kyle Mareck 18, Evan Ziegler 14, Andy Krupke 11, Grant Borgeson 8, Brandon Anderson 8, Jordan Gieske 4 ... 3-point shots: Zeigler 2, Mareck 3, Krupke 3, ... Rebound leaders: not available